January 03, 2018: Wednesday ONAIRprep

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ODT: 20180103
PDF: 20180103



My New Year’s Resolution this year is to become a vegan. I’ll still continue to eat whatever the heck I want, including red meat, cheese, etc., but I’ll be calling myself a vegan because I like the idea of feeling I’m superior to everyone else.

I’m (JOCK). And any minute now you’re gonna remember who you are.

PRESIDENTIAL WIT & WISDOM (click here to buy the book)

(None on the weekends or holidays.)

“We grow great by dreams. All big men are dreamers.” – Woodrow Wilson


“But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” –Romans 5:8

Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. — Psalms 90:12

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go. — Joshua 1:9


(From VerseOfTheDay.com)

When the priests and Levites had purified themselves ceremonially, they purified the people, the gates and the wall. — Nehemiah 12:30

Thought: God has placed each of us in a circle of influence. Before we try to “clean up” those around us, let’s first offer ourselves to God to be consecrated and to be made pure by his grace. Then, let’s live in a way that shows the impact of that holiness in our lives. Jesus told us to remove the plank from our own eye before we try to clean the speck out of someone else’s eye. For leaders at any level, “living holy” is essential before calling others to holiness! God’s greatest times of spiritual renewal begin when leaders first consecrate themselves to God and his work.

Prayer: O Father in heaven, forgive me for my sins. I want to be pure and holy, cleansed by your Spirit and forgiven by your grace. Please bless me as I seek to live a holy life before those I influence. I need your powerful help to be the example and person of character that you want me to be, and that my friends need me to be. I ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

The Thoughts and Prayers for Today’s Verse are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@heartlight.org.

BIRTHDAY VERSE” OF THE DAY (The chapter and verse correspond to the month and day!)

Psalm 1:3 NIV = That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither… whatever they do prospers.”


(NOTE: Some holidays may be duplicated due to various calendars reporting conflicting dates)

This is NATIONAL THANK YOUR CUSTOMERS WEEK.  ***Which might explain why you get lousy customer service the other 51 weeks of the year.

Today is NATIONAL CHOCOLATE COVERED CHERRIES DAY. ***And you thought the holiday sugar intake was over!

ALASKA ADMISSION DAY. ***No news yet on what they’ve admitted to doing. (Actually, Alaska became the 49th state of the United States of America on this day in 1959.)

Today is FESTIVAL OF SLEEP DAY. ***If I’d known about this yesterday I would’ve worn my footsie pajamas to work.



Drinking Straw Day
Earth at Perihelion
J.R.R. Tolkien Day
Memento Mori “Remember You Die” Day
National Chocolate Covered Cherry Day

COMING UP NEXT (Just a list, we are not endorsing the holidays posted below. Find more holidays and link to their websites at BrownieLocks.com)


Dimpled Chad Day
I Am A Mentor Day
Pop Music Chart Day
Tom Thumb Day
Trivia Day
World Braille Day
World Hypnotism Day


Bird Day
National Screenwriters Day


Twelfth Night
Armenian Christmas
National Technology Day
Three Kings Day
Fruitcake Toss Day


Golden Globes
Harlem Globetrotter’s Day
I’m Not Going To Take It Anymore Day
International Programmers’ Day
Orthodox Christmas
National Bobblehead Day
National Tempura Day


Argyle Day
Bubble Bath Day
Earth’s Rotation Day
National English Toffee Day
Midwife’s Day or Women’s Day
National Clean Off Your Desk Day
National Joy Germ Day
National Weigh-In Day
National Winter Skin Relief Day
Show and Tell Day at Work
“Thank God It’s Monday” Day
War on Poverty Day


Balloon Ascension Day
Law Enforcement Appreciation Day
National Cassoulet Day
National Poetry at Work Day
National Shop For Travel Day
National Static Electricity Day
Panama’s Martyr Day


League of Nations Day
National Cut Your Energy Costs Day
National Oysters Rockefeller Day


1888: Marvin C. Stone of Washington, D.C. patented the straw for drinking. ***Imagine his moral dilemma…actually trying to invent something that sucked!

1922: The U.S. issued patent #1,402,263 for “Hippity-Hoppers,” metal grasshoppers with springy legs that you buckled to your shoes. As you hopped, the grasshoppers’ wings flapped up and down.

1924: Howard Carter, British egyptologist, found the sarcophagus of Tutankhamun in the Valley of the Kings near Luxor. ***And, contrary to popular belief, he was not found “buried in his jammies”.

1938: The “March of Dimes” campaign to fight polio was organized.

1967: Jack Ruby, the man who shot accused presidential assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, died of cancer in a Dallas hospital.

1970: The Beatles recorded their last song together, “I Me Mine.” Ten years later it was the title of George Harrison’s autobiography.

1973: CBS sold the New York Yankees to a syndicate headed by George Steinbrenner for $10 million.

1983: Michael Jackson’s Thriller album was released. It would top the LP chart for 37 weeks and become the best selling album of all time.

1987: Aretha Franklin became the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

1992: Bernard Moeller of Pennsylvania got his 14-thousandth tattoo. Nobody else has more [Guinness].

1992: The Miss Canada Pageant was scrapped, apparently due to lack of interest and politics. The last Miss Canada, crowned in October 1991, was Nicole Dunsdon.

1996: The South African edition of Cosmopolitan magazine chose 77-year-old President Nelson Mandela as the nation’s sexiest and most eligible bachelor because of his power, kindness, modesty, dimples, and funky dress sense.

1997: Bryant Gumbel signed off for the last time as host of NBC’s Today show.

2000: The final new daily “Peanuts” comic strip by Charles Schulz ran in 2,600 newspapers.

2001: Oklahoma whipped Florida State, 13-2, to win the Orange Bowl and win college football’s Bowl Championship Series title game.

2003: A Bolivian man who was shot 11 times made such a remarkable recovery doctors decided to leave the bullets inside him. Jose Luis Cespedes, a sports commentator from Santa Cruz, was shot by a gang who tried to steal his car. Doctors released him from hospital and said they have no intention of removing the 11 bullets from his body.

2003: NASA’s rover, Spirit, touched down on Mars.

2006: A stolen car suspect made things easy for sheriff’s deputies as they followed him along Interstate 75 into Sarasota County and then back into Hillsborough county, Florida. The slow-speed pursuit ended when the 41-year-old man pulled his minivan into a Hillsborough jail parking lot, got out and surrendered. He was charged with grand theft auto and fleeing and eluding.


1521: German reformer Martin Luther is excommunicated by Pope Leo X.

1687: The Duke of Savoy gives the Waldensians a choice: cross the alps or work his malarial rice fields. 400 perish crossing the alps.

1918: Death of Annie Sherwood Hawks, Baptist hymn writer who wrote “I need thee every hour.”

1984: Death of Jacob Gartenhouse, founder of International Jewish Missions.


  • actress (Winnie on “The Wonder Years”) Danica McKellar 43 (audio clip)

  • Actor/director (Signs, Lethal Weapon, What Women Want, Mad Max) Mel Gibson, 62

  • Actress (“Dallas”) Victoria Principal, 68 (audio clip)

  • Actor (Tootsie, 9 to 5, You’ve Got Mail, War Games) Dabney Coleman, 86


(Music Artist Birthdays From SongFacts.com)

1909 : Victor Borge

1915 : Maxene Andrews (The Andrew Sisters)

1926 : Sir George Martin (Beatles producer)

1941 : Van Dyke Parks

1945 : Stephen Stills (Crosby Stills Nash & Young)

1946 : John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin)

SECRETS OF THE UNIVERSE (Answering questions that have plagued mankind for minutes!)

How was cotton candy invented?

In 1897, William Morrison and John C. Wharton, Tennessee candy makers from Nashville, invented the world’s first electric machine that allowed crystallized sugar to be poured onto a heated spinning plate, and then pushed by centrifugal force through a series of tiny holes. They proudly took their “Fairy Floss” to the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition (otherwise known as the St. Louis World’s Fair) and sold the product in chipped-wood boxes. Though they sold each box for a whopping 25 cents (half of the fair admission price), they sold 68,655 boxes. (That same fair also introduced the world’s first ice-cream cone.)


(None on weekends. Want a customizable version with your specific station tag, FREE? Email me for more information! )


(Not posted on weekends and U.S. holidays.)

Amazon has pulled a do-it-yourself circumcision training kit from their website.  ***You think that’s scary?  In order to pull it from the site, it means that at one time someone actually approved it as completely appropriate to be posted.

Over Christmas, Erie, Pennsylvania, received. 60.4 inches of snow over two days, a new state record.  ***It was so bad, radio stations began editing songs to play “It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Apocalypse”, “Don’t Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow Anymore”, and my personal favorite, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside – But It Doesn’t Matter Because Snow Is Blocking Me From Opening The Door Anyway.”

Mastercard Inc said shoppers spent over $800 billion during the season, more than ever before, boosted by growing consumer confidence, rising employment and early discounts.  ***Next month we fully expect a new report saying Americans are more in debt than ever before.

A Florida man has been accused of misusing the emergency telephone system. Nelson Agosto was arrested after he made the 911 calls from Crabby’s Seafood Shack for “complaining that the clams he was eating were so small that he didn’t want to pay for them.”  ***Obviously he already had too much seafood – he was a giant crab.

A chicken kebab has become the world’s first to be sent to space. Businessman Pascal Leuthold blasted the kebab 124,000 feet into the atmosphere on a weather balloon which crashed back down to Earth some two hours later. When it got back home it was frozen solid. It was all a publicity stunt that Pascal spent three months planning, to mark the launch of his new restaurant in Zurich which resembles a rocket. The chef said, “We thought what better way to announce our new chain to the world, than launching one of our kebabs into space. One of the most impressive things was to watch the Kebab freeze. We didn’t think about this before, but of course at this height it’s very cold and the whole kebab was frozen solid.” He added, “It feels very cool to have launched the first kebab into space.” (Metro)  ***Well… I guess it’s good to have goals in life.

In California, Jack in the Box is offering “The Merry Munchie Meal” for the stoner crowd. The cost? $4.20. ***Ah – I see what you did there.  But honestly, do you really expect a stoned customer to figure out how to count out four dollars and twenty cents without slowing down the line with incessant giggling?

Lindsay Lohan is apparently $100,000 behind on her tax payments.  ***The new tax code should be made so simple that even celebrities can figure it out – that’d solve a lot of problems.

Disney’s resorts are doing away with “Do Not Disturb” signs in hotels for security reasons.  ***Would that make your privacy LESS secure?!?

France is banning all Smartphones from elementary schools beginning in September. ***But then what will they do for entertainment during recess?!?!

Bono says that music, in general, has gotten “very girly.”  ***But he did say it while primping himself in a mirror.

Baltimore’s 317 murders in 2017 was the highest-ever per capita.  ***This year’s resolution: try to kill fewer people.

A couple in Riverside, California, has been accused of using a drone to deliver drugs.  ***Downside – a drone is really conspicuous and easily seen by authorities.  Upside – you don’t have to worry about it using any of your product for itself on the way to deliver it.

The former host of “India’s Most Wanted” TV show has been convicted of murdering his wife.  ***Apparently television does have an impact on society.

Vin Diesel was the top grossing actor of 2017, finishing ahead of Duane “The Rock” Johnson and Gal Gadot. ***Money may not grow on trees, but who knew wealth could come from voicing an animated one?  I need to talk to my agent to see if I can get a job somewhere being the voice of a crabapple.

A report says the number of adults with roommates is the highest in decades.  ***Many named Ross, Rachel, Chandler, Monica, Phoebe and Joey.

There is 10-seconds of silence that comes up in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.  The silence is intentional. Some people were complaining to theater owners that their equipment malfunctioned, but the truth is that the film’s director put it in there for creative effect. ***Plus he wanted to prove our world is so impatient we can’t handle ten seconds of silence without going ballistic.


(Not posted on weekends and U.S. holidays.)

A Harvard and University of British Columbia study found that how you spend money is at least as important to happiness as how much you make. They studied 630 Americans and found that those who spent money on other people, even as little as $5 a day for gifts or charity, were measurably happier than those who spent the money on themselves.  ***In fact, instead of buying the complete Stargate SG-1 collection on DVD for myself, I bought it for my wife Robin – and I’m feeling really good about that right now.

Studies show that fuel economy has become the number one concern among American car buyers – but motorists have also been pressing for higher speed limits, which can sharply reduce the mileage a car gets.  While that might seem common sense, a new study clearly quantifies the impact of putting the pedal to the metal. And it finds that there are surprisingly few differences between vehicles, whether brick-like SUVs or sleek, wind-cheating sports cars.   “People really like rules of thumb, and if you’re increasing your speed from 50 to 60 miles an hour, we find for the largest number of vehicles fuel economy will go down about 12 percent,” said Brian H. West, a researcher at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, in Knoxville, Tenn., where the study was conducted.  Pushing a little faster, you’ll see mileage drop about 14 percent going from 60 to 70 mph, while fuel economy will dip yet another 16 percent if you nudge the speedometer up to 80.  ***Of course, this also works in reverse, meaning you get better gas mileage if you slow down to 55 – and if you don’t move your car at all and turn the engine off, you may not have to refill your tank ever again.

When is a bottle of ketchup not a bottle of ketchup? Evidently, when it’s in the promised land. According to an Israeli newspaper, Heinz Ketchup, arguably the most recognizable brand of ketchup in the world, must be labeled “tomato seasoning” in Israel because it doesn’t contain enough tomato paste to earn the ketchup title.  ***And they won’t even discuss allowing Cap’N Crunch’s “Crunchberries” into the country.

Ladies, if you’re in the market to get hitched, find a short guy. A study out of NYU found short men marry later, make more money while in the relationship, and divorce less than their taller counterparts.  ***Possibly because they can’t see over their spouses’ shoulders to eye other women.

Turns out cinnamon is better for you than you thought. A new study in Scientific Reports suggests it can lower stomach temperature by up to 3.6 degrees. Eating cinnamon with meals seems to lower carbon dioxide levels in stomachs after meals, making your body cooler. But don’t overdo it. The US Department of Health says eating 6 grams of cinnamon or more a day for six weeks or longer can be toxic.  ***So do NOT do the cinnamon challenge… but DO visit Cinnabon!


(Not updated on weekends and U.S. holidays.)


OPEN: And now, FancyMonkey.com, (Show Name), and (Station Call Letters) bring you As the Jungle Turns! When last we left the jungle, all of the animals were completely exhausted from trying to keep up with their own schedules. They didn’t have time for all of their chores, didn’t have time for friends, meetings, even quick conversations! After collapsing from the stress, a group of very peaceful turtles wandered by…

CLOSE: Tune in again next time, as FancyMonkey.com, (Show Name), and (Station Call Letters) bring you another episode in the never-ending deep-jungle soap-opera saga that is As the Jungle Turns!

***You may simulcast “As the Jungle Turns” on the Internet stream of your live broadcast only. Any other Internet use of “As the Jungle Turns” in whole or part including podcasting of your live broadcast is a violation of copyright law. Thank you for your cooperation on this vitally important issue. If you have any questions, please e-mail us and ask about “Jungle Jam & Friends the Radio Show” usage.

Today’s Moment of Duh comes from my own family’s observations on the job!

My aunt works in the library of a school and sometimes has to oversee the computers that students use. One afternoon she noticed a young man sitting in front of one of the workstations with his arms crossed across his chest, staring at the screen. After about 15 minutes she noticed that he was still in the same position, only now he was impatiently tapping his foot. Finally, my aunt approached him and asked if he needed help. He replied, “It’s about time! I pressed the F1 button for help over twenty minutes ago!”



10. FROM YOUR PREACHER–“This year I resolve to preach verse by verse through Leviticus!”

9. FROM YOUR DENTIST–“This year I resolve to finally overcome my aversion to washing my hands!”

8. FROM YOUR MAILMAN–“This year I resolve to stop collecting restricted weapons!”

7. FROM YOUR DOCTOR–“This year I resolve to remove the video camera from my examination room.”

6. FROM YOUR MECHANIC–“This year I resolve to stop installing defective parts just to make a buck!”

5. FROM YOUR FOUR-YEAR OLD–“This year I resolve to memorize every Barney episode so I can tell you about them over and over and over again!”

4. FROM YOUR TEEN–“This year I resolve to push the envelope on the often misunderstood art of body piercing!”

3. FROM THE CHURCH TREASURER–“This year I resolve to finally finish paying for that condo on the French Riviera no matter what it takes!”

2. FROM YOUR NEXT-DOOR NEIGHBOR–“This year I resolve to pursue my life long dream of beekeeping!”

1. FROM JESUS–‘This year I resolve, like all the years before, to patiently wait for you to place me first in your life!”


If you are a police officer, you should obey the law… even if you’re off duty.

FILE #1: In San Antonio, Texas, police chief William McManus announced that he was upgrading the department training program to teach his officers how to obey the law while they are off-duty! It seems he’s had to fire no less than 10 officers so far this year for law-breaking! Included in the new program is a personal talk from McManus to each incoming cadet to stress that police officers must not commit crimes anytime, anywhere!

FILE #2: A robber who broke into a Pensacola Florida home taking small valuables, came back hours later to finish what he’d started; this time taking the plasma-screen television. The police were investigating the break-in when the robber returned. The robber attempted to take the television, but left it in the backyard and fled with the owner’s wallet, watch and video game system. The police left the television in the backyard to dust for fingerprints, when the robber returned and took it without being caught.  Police have offered to pay for the television as it was partially their fault it is now missing.

FILE #3: Police in Little Rock, Arkansas have arrested a 23-year-old man after he dropped his own wallet while trying to rob a man at gunpoint at the victim’s home. The would-be robber apparently got nervous and fled before taking anything, but then later phoned the victim and told him to return the lost wallet to a nearby service station. Of course the victim called police who found the suspect at the service station and arrested him after a brief foot chase.

STRANGE LAW: In Hereford, England you may not shoot a Welsh person on Sunday with a longbow in the Cathedral Close.


This Is Your Brain On Drugs” is about people doing dumb things under the influence, but addiction is no laughing matter. If you or someone you know needs help, there’s a toll free number you can call 1-800-438-0380. That’s the Addiction Hope and Help Line at 1-800-438-0380.

(2018) Ever had a really bad first date? Doubt it rivals this one. Authorities in Dallas say an intoxicated Lindy Lou Layman was arrested after her first date with prominent Houston trial lawyer Anthony Buzbee because she allegedly caused at least $300,000 in damage to his art collection, including two Andy Warhol paintings. Buzbee told investigators that the 29-year-old Layman got too intoxicated on their date, so he called her an Uber after they returned to his home. She allegedly refused to leave and hid inside the home. When Buzbee found her and called a second Uber, she allegedly got aggressive. Authorities say she tore down several paintings and poured red wine on some, as well as threw two $20,000 sculptures. The damaged Warhol paintings were each valued at $500,000. And get this: If criminal mischief results in damage of more than $300,000, it’s considered a first-degree felony, which is punishable by up to life in prison. (Houston Chronicle)


Tis the season for re-gifting, fa la la la la, la la la la! What gift did you receive this year that you plan to re-gift?


QUESTION: Who was sleeping between two soldiers when an angel came to release him?

ANSWER: Peter (Acts 12:6-7)


QUESTION: In the “Peanuts” cartoon strip, what occupation does Charlie Brown’s father hold?

ANSWER: He is a barber (ironic, seeing as his son has no hair!)


Pay attention! If our next player doesn’t answer all ten T/F questions correctly we start all over from question #1! First person to answer question #10 correctly is our winner!

1. Until the age of 20, author John Grisham had hoped to make a living playing baseball. (True)

2. As referenced in the Gettysburg Address, “four score and seven” means 100 years. (False, it means 87 years)

3. A letter addressed using the two-letter abbreviation “MS” would arrive from Minnesota. (False, it would arrive from Mississippi)

4. Tom Hamilton, Joe Perry, and Brad Whitford are all members of Def Leppard. (False, they’re in Aerosmith)

5. Comedian Bill Cosby hosted a segment known as “Picture Pages” on the kids TV show Mr. Rogers Neighborhood. (False, it was Captain Kangaroo)

6. The line that is repeated fourteen times in the movie “Jerry Maguire” is “You Complete Me.” (False, it’s “Show me the money!”)

7. England’s King George I was actually a German prince. (True… he ascended to the English throne in 1714 and he could neither write nor speak his subjects’ language since he only spoke German.)

8. The Miss Canada pageant no longer takes place due to women’s groups complaining about it. (True… the last Miss Canada was Nicole Dunsdon, who completed her reign in October 1992. Since then, there has been no Miss Canada competition. Women’s groups called it degrading and got it banned.)

9. Your armpits contain more sweat glands than any other part of your body. (False… the palms of you hands and soles of your feet have more sweat glands. Why do you think your feet stink so much?)

10. The banana is actually a vegetable, not a fruit. (False… it’s neither! It’s actually a herb. In fact it’s the world’s largest herb!)


You have to match the blank in the tabloid headline with the word or phrase that has been removed!


WASHINGTON — Emergency doors locked and sirens wailing, the White

House was put on lockdown today as Vice President Mike Pence said he must find his missing car keys. At first, he laughed and said he knew “exactly” where he had put them, but a quick trip into a restroom stall was fruitless, according to accounts.

“They were, like, just in my hand,” Pence said, motioning a team toward another wing of the building. “No one can leave this place until I find them. And someone turn that siren off; I can’t hear myself think. “

White House communications owas quick to dispel any rumors that this was a life-threatening situation and has maintained constant media contact since first discovering the motives behind the alert.

“Despite the vice president’s enthusiasm for finding the keys,” said a White House spokeperson, “I want to remind everyone that this not an emergency for anyone but Mr. Pence and his motorcade. However, the vice president has every right to put federal buildings on lockdown, so we are at his mercy until further notice.”

Around 9 a.m. this morning, Pence was sure he was close to victory as he reached down into a couch, but only found a few golden dollars left behind by tour groups that had taken the Metro.

“Waste not, want not,” Pence said, pocketing the coins. “Alright, gentlemen, lets roll up our sleeves and get back to it.”

Officials said they were hopeful to have the White House fully operational by late afternoon. One Secret Service member reportedly said that “last time this happened, it was on a Monday and no one got out until Tuesday evening.” Another was quick to add, “The vice president ordered pizza, though.”



A Kansas cyclone hit a farmhouse just before dawn one morning. It lifted the roof off, picked up the beds, on which the farmer and his wife slept, and set them down gently in the next county. The wife began to cry.

“Don’t be scared, Mary,” her husband said. “We’re not hurt.”

Mary continued to cry. “I’m not scared,” she responded between sobs. “I’m happy ’cause this is the first time in 14 years we’ve been out together.”


One morning, Rhonda was called to pick up her son at the school nurse’s office. When she walked through the main entrance, Rhonda noticed a woman, curlers in her hair, wearing pajamas.

“Why are you dressed like that?” Rhonda asked her.

“I told my son,” she explained, “that if he ever did anything to embarrass me, I would embarrass him back. He was caught cutting school. So now I’ve come to spend the day with him!”


Because their former small-town parish was not a wealthy one, the pastor

was dependent on parishioners for upkeep and maintenance of the church.

Once he asked Christine’s husband, Sam, to rewire the confessionals. The only way to reach the wiring was to enter the attic above the altar and crawl over the ceiling by balancing on the rafters.

Concerned for her husband’s safety, Christine waited in a pew. Unbeknownst to her, some parishioners were congregating in the vestibule. They paid little attention to Christine, probably assuming she was praying.

Worried about her husband, she looked up toward the ceiling and yelled, “Sam, Sam — are you up there? Did you make it okay?”

There was quite an outburst from the vestibule when Sam’s hearty voice echoed down, “Yes, I made it up here just fine!”


The Bureau of Engraving and Printing is offering free low-quality images of U.S. currency bills over the Internet. This is for artists, students and others who find out their computers won’t allow them to copy the bills because of hidden counterfeiting protections. ***Anyone wishing to download a fifty should log on to The-FBI-Knows-Where-You-Live.com.

US residents eat three times more fat than residents of China.  ***It used to be FOUR times as much, but then that Beijing McDonald’s opened up.



After Christmas vacation, a teacher asked her small pupils to write an account of how they spent their holidays. One youngster wrote about a visit to his grandparents in a life-care community for retired folks: “We always spend Christmas with Grandma and Grandpa,” he said. “They used to live here in a big red house, but Grandpa got retarded and they moved to Florida. They live in a place with a lot of retarded people. They live in tin huts. They ride big three wheel tricycles. They go to a big building they call a wrecked hall but it is fixed now. They play games there and do exercises, but they don’t do them very good. There is a swimming pool and they go to it and just stand there in the water with their hats on. I guess they don’t know how to swim.

“My grandma used to bake cookies and stuff. But I guess she forgot how. Nobody cooks – they all go out to fast food restaurants. As you come into the park, there is a doll house with a man sitting in it. He watches all day, so they can’t get out without him seeing them. They wear badges with their names on them. I guess they don’t know who they are.

“My Grandpa and Grandma worked hard all their lives and earned their retardment. I wish they would move back home but I guess the man in the doll house won’t let them out.”



What do you do when your car catches fire, and your money gets burned up and soggy from the fire extinguishers?

An armored car company had a pretty big problem when one of its cars went up in flames in San Francisco. Armed Courier Services was left with thousands of dollars worth of burned and soggy bills after the armored vehicle hit an abandoned car and caught fire. When paper towels and propane heaters couldn’t dry out the cash, they turned to an industrial-sized dryer at a local coin-operated laundry. Santa Clara Police stood guard as workers piled the bills into the dryers. Company president Dan Connolly says it would have taken too long to get the bills dry any other way. ***MARLAR: The armored car drivers were immediately arrested for money-laundering.



On the night of March 29, 1848, Niagara Falls stopped completely— unheralded, unassisted and unbelievably. As the rapids dwindled and the falls disappeared, silence flooded the surrounding countryside so overwhelmingly that it wakened sleeping people and brought them to their doors, frightened by a phenomenon they couldn’t identify. As the realization came that the falls had stopped, they snatched up clothing and ran to the river. There, the flare of torches showed stretches of mud and boulders gleaming nakedly between scattered pools of black water. By the next afternoon spectators lined the river- banks, exploring the exposed riverbed and turning up ancient tomahawks and other implements of Indian warfare. For the first time in history, a detachment cavalry rode the riverbed, and people walked dry-shod from shore to shore.

While the matter-of-fact looked for a scientific explanation for the phenomenon, the superstitious regarded it as an ominous portent. Nightfall found most of the churches jammed with people praying or talking in frightened voices about the end of the world. Fear began to assume the proportions of panic. And then, from up the riverbed came a low growling, spreading out and reaching forward until the earth and air seemed to tremble and vibrate. In an unbroken wall of water, the torrent of Niagara surged forward to crash over the brink of the falls. Again the familiar roar filled the air, and faces that had been white and strained softened, and fingers clenched in fear relaxed.

The explanation for the awful silence came later. During the day of March 29 a heavy wind had started the Lake Erie ice field in motion and tons of ice jammed at the river’s entrance near Buffalo, damming up the river for almost 30 hours till the ice shifted and the dam broke up. —Edgar D. Smith

How much greater shall be the fear of those who are unprepared to meet the Lord when the portents really do point to His return and the end of this world.

Duane V. Maxey 



Read: Luke 15:11-32

Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. —Luke 15:31

A sociologist was writing a book about the difficulties of growing up in a large family, so he interviewed the mother of 13 children. After several questions, he asked, “Do you think all children deserve the full, impartial love and attention of a mother?”

“Of course,” said the mother.

“Well, which of your children do you love the most?” he asked, hoping to catch her in a contradiction.

She answered, “The one who is sick until he gets well, and the one who is away until he gets home.”

That mother’s response reminds me of the shepherd who left 99 sheep to seek the one that was lost (Luke 15:4), the woman who searched for the one coin (v.8), and the father who threw a party when his wayward son returned (vv.22-24).

The religious leaders of Jesus’ day resented the way He gave so much attention to sinners (vv.1-2). So He told those stories to emphasize God’s love for people who are lost in sin. God has more than enough love to go around. Besides, those who are “well” and are not “lost” experience the Father’s love as fully as those to whom He gives special attention (v.31).

Father, forgive us for feeling slighted when You shower Your love on needy sinners. Help us to see how needy we are and to abide in Your boundless love. —Mart De Haan

The One who made the heavens,
Who died on Calvary,
Rejoices with His angels
When sinners are set free. —Fasick

God loves every one of us as if there were but one of us to love. —Augustine



After hearing for years that diversity is a strength, Harvard researcher Robert Putnam decided to test it and was so stunned by his findings, he was afraid to release them.

…He found that the more diverse a community, the less likely anyone was to trust anyone else. He said in the most diverse communities, such as Los Angeles, people “hunker down” and “act like turtles.” They not only don’t trust people who don’t look like them, “they don’t trust people who do look like them.” They don’t trust their mayor, neighbors, or the local paper or institutions. He said, “The only thing there’s more of is protest marches and TV watching.”



Is your New Year’s resolution to lose weight this year? Can’t afford to go to the gym? Don’t have any workout equipment? I have a few ideas for you…

  • Weighty decisions: pumping iron or adding resistance with a homemade weight is a surefire way of alleviating stress and burning a few calories.  Fill an old plastic milk jug or laundry detergent bottle with sand or water is one popular way to go about making your own weights, penny-filled tennis balls, tube socks stuffed with dry beans, and basketballs filled with rice are other possibilities that involve creative reuse.  

  • Gimme 20: There are numerous equipment-free repetitive exercise activities like jumping jacks, running in place, squats, planks and push-ups often performed in a gym that can just as easily be done at home. Some tasks can be performed in the kitchen as you wait for the roast to finish. Just make sure you have adequate space and some decent upbeat music to keep you moving.

  • Got stairs? Use ‘em: Here’s an idea – every morning that you go downstairs to fix yourself breakfast before work, walk back up those stairs. And down again. Repeat if necessary. Bonus points for carrying something heavy (i.e. a load of laundry) while doing so.

  • Walk around the block: Although the weather may be frightful, a 20-minute breather that consists of a couple laps around the neighborhood will help keep you in shape!



A law professor specializing in personal injury cases, is now being sued for personal injuries that he gave a student!

A law professor who elected to demonstrate his lecture on personal injury by pulling a chair out from under a student as she sat down is being sued by the woman to the tune of $5 million. Denise DiFede accused the Prof. Gary Munneke of Pace University and the Pace University School of Law of ”battery” and “negligence,” claiming the fall caused her “to suffer severe pain and mental anguish and severe emotional distress.” The unusual class illustration allegedly took place while Munneke and his students were discussing a tort case. A tort is a civil wrong in which one party seeks damages from another for injuries sustained at that party’s hands. DiFede claimed her professor’s conduct was “outrageous, shocking and intolerable, exceeding all reasonable bounds of decency,” according to the suit. ***MARLAR: He’s a very good teacher though – the student immediately saw it as a tort case right off.



  • Your boss has scheduled a “going away” party for you on January 4th – and you weren’t aware you were going anywhere.

  • You get a letter in the mail from Publisher’s Clearinghouse informing you that you definitely have not won the $1 million prize.

  • Your new year’s resolution is to lose half your body weight so you’ll be down to a slim 300 lbs.

  • Your goal is to not miss a single episode of “The View.”


New research says people who are tone-deaf — that is can’t sing a note in tune — suffer from a disconnect in the brain. (***MARLAR: Which might explain why so many people like THE VOICE…)

…Researchers found that tone-deaf people have fewer connections between two areas of the brain that perceive and produce sounds. Tone-deafness also appears to be largely hereditary and is present in an estimated 4 to 17 percent of the population. The study’s lead author, Psyche Loui (SY’-kee LOO’-ee) of Harvard University, likened the connection to a highway between two islands in the brain and said, “In tone-deaf people, there’s less traffic on the highway.”  ***MARLAR: And if you’re really bad, your singing sounds like road rage.  


(Not posted on weekends and U.S. holidays.)

Corey Jones couldn’t bear to see 89-year-old Art Quick living out the rest of his days all by himself – so instead of allowing the Navy veteran to face the world alone, Jones invited him into his family.  Quick first met Jones and his 6-year-old daughter Malia at the Family Golf Center in Antioch, Tennessee.  As the senior coached the father-daughter duo on their swing, he mentioned that he had been living in motels since the last of his relatives passed away.  He also mentioned that even though he knew he couldn’t live in motels anymore, he didn’t know where to go next.  That’s when Jones asked the veteran if he would like to move in with him and Maila.  “I don’t think family is all tied with blood lines,” Jones told WSMV. “It’s the people who take care of one another, that’s family. He’s Navy, and I’m a Marine. That’s a close brotherhood there.”

Watch the video at https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/man-opens-home-89-year-old-veteran-family-not-tied-bloodlines/?utm_campaign=newsletters&utm_medium=weekly_mailout&utm_source=02-01-2018

If you thought 2017 was too depressing for words, then feast your eyes on this compilation of the ten greatest things that happened throughout the year, created by GoodNewsNetwork.org.  Some of these stories you might never heard about, while others are iconic events that you will want to relive again.  Watch the video at http://darrenmarlar.com?p=21137

A newlywed couple have recently discovered that they used to be childhood sweethearts, much to their surprise. Heidi Savitt (née Parker) and Ed Savitt tied the knot this summer in Derbyshire. The couple, who now live in London, met at Newcastle University in 2011. After meeting Ed, Heidi’s mom Kay came across a photo of her daughter with a boy from their family holiday to Turkey in July 1997. Kay instantly recognized Heidi’s childhood suitor as none other than her new husband, Ed.

If you happened to miss the big, beautiful supermoon that brightened the night sky earlier in December, you will have another couple opportunities starting right off the bat in 2018. January holds two supermoons, one during its first night, according to EarthSky.org. The other falls at the end of the month, on the very last day. The supermoon of January 31st is the 3rd in a row, and also happens to be a ‘blue moon,’ since it’s the second full moon in one month. But that’s not all! On January 31st, that super-blue moon will also pass through the Earth’s shadow, causing a total lunar eclipse.

This kind janitor does not just keep her school clean – she also helps to keep the students safe.  Carolyn Collins is the custodian at Tucker High School in Tucker, Georgia. On any given day, you can find Carolyn picking up after the students, mopping the floors, and restocking the bathrooms.  But three years ago, something happened at school that added an unexpected element to Carolyn’s job.  While Carolyn was performing her early-morning tasks before the first bell, she was approached by two students who said they were starving and had nowhere else to go.  Carolyn, whose own son was killed during a home invasion, felt an instant calling to help the youngsters.  Carolyn then decided to transform one of the school closets into a supply room that specifically stocked food, clothing, and resources for struggling students.  During any given year, the compassionate custodian says that she opens her special closet for up to 30 kids who have nowhere else to turn.  Read the rest of the story and watch the video here: https://www.littlethings.com/custodian-homeless-closet

When the littlest patients battle cancer, more hospitals are now opening their doors to specially-trained dogs in the hopes that they can help kids in the way conventional drugs can’t. But do they really help. New research by American Humane and several children’s hospitals, believed to be the first and largest randomized controlled study on the subject, had some unexpected results. Kids who had regular visits from a therapy dog while undergoing cancer treatment worried less about their health and felt more comfortable about their school performance, but had the same overall stress and anxiety levels as pediatric cancer patients who didn’t spend any time with therapy dogs. Parents of the kids who visited the furry therapists, however, showed “significantly decreased” stress levels, especially when talking with doctors, thinking about their child’s treatment and considering their overall emotional state, researchers found.


(Feel-good stories! Only posted as new stories come available. Not posted on weekends and U.S. holidays.)

It just may be the best proposal of 2017 – getting in just under the wire. Jon Emerson, a 24-year-old pilot for SkyWest airlines decided to surprise his flight-attendant girlfriend two days before Christmas. As Emerson gave passengers weather, altitude, and turbulence details before their Detroit to Oklahoma City flight took off, he suddenly introduced 23-year-old Lauren Gibbs as his girlfriend, and also as “one of our very best flight attendants.” He then said he wanted her to not only remember this day as their anniversary, but also as a “day to be known for the rest of our lives.” In a video Gibbs posted to her Facebook page, Emerson can then be seen whipping out a ring box and getting down on one knee to offer his marriage proposal to the clapping and cheers of passengers. Emerson later announced, “She said yes,” for those who couldn’t hear in the back. In her own post Gibbs wrote: “I got to say the easiest YES of my life to my best friend! It still feels like a dream and I cannot explain how blessed I am to spend forever with Jon.” (Independent)


(Only posted as stories come available. Not posted on weekends and U.S. holidays.)

The ceremony was so lovely that even one of the stone-faced U.S. border guards cracked a smile. From the Tijuana side of the Mexican border: Evelia Reyes and her young daughter, each with white gowns but no visas. From the California side: a beaming Brian Zachary Houston. They wed and kissed on Nov. 18. Then bride and groom returned to their respective countries and agents shut the metal door — as they do each year after letting a select few families briefly unite at a border they’re forbidden to cross. However, this ceremony was different. Houston was out on bail after being caught smuggling 133 pounds of meth. Now U.S. officials are struggling to explain how they failed to spot Houston’s criminal record before allowing him to become the public face of a federally sanctioned open-border ceremony. http://wapo.st/2DyqGkC


Thank goodness for all the after-Christmas sales. It’s hard to stop shopping cold turkey.


Marie Asner has been reviewing films for over 35 years. Her outlets include radio, print and Internet. For more in-depth movie reviews of the following films, visit www.Tollbooth.org. Ratings from 1 (Low) to 5 (High).

DECEMBER 22-25, 2017…

Bright—How about living in a fantasy world where humans and fantasy creatures have co-existed for eons. This is an alternate Earth, and policeman Will Smith and his Orc partner, Joel Edgerton, are on duty. However, there is evil afoot and they have to find a magic wand before anyone else. Also in the cast are Noomi Repace and Lucy Fry. “Bright” is rated PG 13. No rating.

Downsizing—Bet you thought this term mean problems in the work force. Think again. In this film, it concerns shrinking people (shades of “The Incredible Shrinking Man.” ) There is a purpose in this movie, though, and that is if you want to control populations and have the environment last, make the people smaller. Hmm, does that mean family pets, too? One swipe of that paw and….!  To begin the experiment, a group of people are purposely shrunk to four inches and live together, but then problems come forth. Stars are Matt Damon, Christoph Waltz, Udo Kier  and Kristen Wiig. “Downsizing” is rated PG 13. Rating of 2 for fans.

Happy End—This is a depressing film about a family with poisoning and suicides in their past. The story centers on a teenage girl named Eve (Fantine Hardoin) with a troubled past and uncertain future. She eventually lives with her aunt (Isabelle Huppert) and still has problems. Others in the cast are Toby Jones and Jean-Louis Trintignant. French language film. “Happy End” is rated R. No rating.

Father Figures (also called “Bastards”)—This film stars Owen Wilson and Ed Helms as fraternal twins. Their Mom is Glenn Close and they, as adult, find she doesn’t know who their biological father(s) are. What to do? The search is on. Also in the cast are Christopher Walken and J. K. Simmons. “Father Figures” is rated PG 13. No rating.

Hostiles—Christian Bale stars in this western as an army officer in 1892, who agrees to escort a Native American tribal chief and his family back to their family ground. Of course, there are problems along the way with outsiders and weather. The cast includes Wes Studi, Adam Beach and Rosamund Pike. “Hostiles” is rated R. No rating.

Pitch Perfect 3—This is supposed to be the last film in the series, but then everyone says that. The group goes separate ways after winning their championship. Trouble is, they are bored, so along comes a chance to join the USO and entertain troops abroad. But, of course, they get into trouble. The  stars include Hailee Steinfeld,  Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Ruby Rose and Elizabeth Banks. ”Pitch Perfect 3” is rated PG 13. No rating.

The Greatest Showman—Hugh Jackman is quite the performer, from “Wolverine” to Broadway. Here he takes on the role of P. T. Barnun and how he put together his wonderful circus. There are animals, clowns and trapeze artists, which brings us to singer, Zendaya, who plays Anne Wheeler. She is a trapeze artist who falls for P. T. Barnum’s partner, played by Zac Efron. Zandaya did most of her own stunts in this film.Also in the cast are Rebecca Ferguson and Michelle Williams. Music by John Debney and Justin Paul.  How to put a show together? The Big Top has it all. “The Greatest Showman” is rated PG. Rating of 2 for fans. For children over age ten.

The Phantom Thread—Daniel Day Lewis submerses himself in his acting roles. From “My Right Foot” to “The Last of the Mohicans” and now a fashion designer in “The Phantom Thread.”  Lewis has said that this is his final film and then he will retire from acting.  However, sometimes a tempting role does come along…  A phantom thread is a part of fabric/design in which, if you have the right thread, can unravel the garment. Much like a government, in which one small detail can bring the house down. In this film, set in the 1950’s in London, Daniel Day-Lewis is a couture fashion designer to nobility, along with his sister (Lesley Manville) and they have a structured life. Enter the outspoken, Alma (Vicky Krieps) who gives new fashion inspiration to Daniel, but his sister begins to see the facade crack and doesn’t know how her brother will handle, perhaps, love? Jonny Greenwood composed the score and the film was written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. “The Phantom Thread” is rated PG-13. Rating of 3 for fans of fashion and the stars.

DECEMBER 29, 2017…
Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool—
An odd title for a movie, but then this film isn’t about your usual actress.  It is about Gloria Grahame, an actress in the 1950’s who won a Best Supporting Actress Award for “The Bad and the Beautiful.” Other memorable roles were in “Oklahoma,“ “Sudden Fear” and “It’s A Wonderful Life.“ Annette Bening takes on the role of Gloria Grahame, whose regular life was more colorful than her screen life. She had several husbands and married her step-son, here played by Jamie Bell. Also in the cast are Vanessa Redgrave and Julie Waters. “Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool” is rated R. Rating of 2 for fans.

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